Science

Last Day of The Dinosaurs Revealed in Stunning Glimpse of Asteroid Disaster

Last Day of The Dinosaurs Revealed in Stunning Glimpse of Asteroid Disaster”

The smash triggered wildfires, tsunamis, and sent up thick wafts of sulfur that choked out sunlight long enough to cool global temperatures down, leading to the extinction of the dominant species on the planet at the time.

The drill site was selected to investigate the series of events that followed the impact. Now, scientists at the University of Texas at Austin examining core samples from the impact site, from 500 to 1,300 meters (1,640 to 4,265 feet) below the seafloor, have found hard evidence of the exact modus operandi of the planet-killer asteroid.

As described in a paper published by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers found proof in the hundreds of feet of rocks that filled the impact crater within the first 24 hours after impact.

"If you were on Earth and within 1500 kilometers (930 miles) of the impact your view would have been very short as the asteroid comes in at 20 kilometers per second and hence a blink of the eye", Gulick told Newsweek. The Chicxulub crater is located offshore from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

We have a better idea today thanks to the International Ocean Discovery Program, which collected a pristine sample from the impact site.

Through their latest discovery, the researchers were able to identify the series of events that took place shortly after the asteroid's impact. The area surrounding the impact crater is full of sulfur-rich rocks.

However, one of the most important takeaways from the research is what was missing from the core samples.

By analysing the rocks, they found evidence that a resurging ocean and tsunami swept material back into the crater formed by the asteroid. As the water from the sea rushed back into the hole, it created a layer of melted stone over the layer of accumulated rock at the bottom of the crater. "We fried them and then we froze them".

The melted rock indicates that the asteroid hit with the force of 10 billion atomic bombs, setting forests aflame for thousands of kilometres, and triggering a tsunami that reached as far as current IL. "The complication with relating individual deposits in the core to specific types of events is that clearly the crater wasn't a static environment after formation", Witts says, meaning that earthquakes, waves and other events have altered the rock record over the course of 66 million years.

"Not all the dinosaurs died that day, but many dinosaurs did", Gulick said. This finding suggests the impact vaporized these rocks, forming sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere and causing cooling on a global scale. Pitts said the asteroid was six miles wide - and that when it hit Earth, it created a crater 90 miles wide and 18 miles deep that blew 25 trillion metric tons of material into the atmosphere. Geologists had detected and studied this effect before, but the new research reinforces the role this atmospheric disruption played in the extinction that followed.

The enormous Chicxulub crater is a remnant of one of the most consequential days in the history of life on Earth.



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